Ever had a day where it seems like you’re putting in maximum effort and enthusiasm toward what you want to create, but only getting minimum results and nothing is going right?!?!
(Ha ha ha – who HASN’T felt this way?!?!).
Truth is, on those days that are “clunkers” we often get agitated, frustrated, and wonder if all of this effort is even worth it. Procrastination, apathy, listlessness, and depression set in… geez, just writing those words makes me feel like a slug!
It takes courage, stamina, and strength to push through challenging times. You don’t have to “squelch” your feelings of irritation – recognizing that that’s pretty normal – but you do have to keep things in perspective if you want to not only get where you want to go but enjoy your life in the process!
There are a number of techniques that I have learned over the years in order to keep going when the going gets tough. Here are a few ideas — and though they might look deceivingly simple, they are actually very powerful and effective.
- Remember the Big “Why” – Usually when we start towards a goal, we clearly know the “big reasons” we are heading there. Another way to seek this is by asking, what are we going to be able to do, have, or experience as a result of that goal? But as we get bogged down in the minutiae of the tasks, we can forget (on an emotional level at least) why we chose to do them in the first place. Try reminding yourself the “Big Why” underneath your goal, so you can reconnect with your passion about it! This will also help you get back on track if you happen to have strayed off in another direction.
- Take Action, Any Action – It has been proven that the mere acting of moving your body – taking a walk, exercising, vacuuming, dancing – releases chemicals in your body that fight depression and lethargy. Sitting around thinking about how you feel does not alleviate the feelings. Task avoidance causes stress, and stress will make you feel worse. So completing even a small task will help you, even if the act of willpower required getting going can feel huge at the time. And if you can do a task, any task, that’s related to furthering your business – why the momentum will return before you know it.
- Chunk It Down – Big goals can be very intimidating. It is easy to get stuck before you’ve even started. Chunk down any project into bite-sized pieces. Then, just take the next task or action, no matter how small. Put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Ask yourself, “what is the next indicated action that’s presenting itself to me?” and then get to it. And it helps if you can make it something you can get done in one period of time. Remember that action begets action, and you’ll feel better when you feel productive.
- Celebrate Your Accomplishments Daily –– It is so easy to ignore the things we actually get done and focus solely on the things still on our To Do list. Take note at the end of the day of all the things that you achieved and accomplished. Again, don’t discount small things; write everything down. Then really acknowledge yourself — or better yet, get your partner or close friend to join you in doing so.
- Use the 80/20 Rule – Being persistent about moving forward does not mean you have to be a taskmaster and “whip” yourself! I don’t know about you, but all work and no play doesn’t just make me dull, it makes me grumpy, no fun to be around, and eventually unproductive! So give yourself permission to play or be “lazy” 20% of the time and it won’t affect your forward momentum at all. Take a nap, play with your kids, and watch a movie… this rejuvenation time actually “preps” you for your next work stint. So let go over over-achievement — the world will still keep turning.
Ultimately, our lives are lived and experienced in the now. By using the above tools, I find myself able to enjoy the current moment much more fully, and it just so happens that these strategies are responsible for my accomplishing extraordinary goals that I would not have thought possible.
The trick? Stay in today. Remember your WHY. Take an action. Celebrate yourself. And play a little too (always).
I promise you’ll get there AND have a bunch of fun along the way.